Don’t know who she is?
Well, Williams is a 47-year-old woman who, because she is fit, was able to survive a recent accident.
She was out paragliding in Spain when a gust of wind sent her terribly off course. After a 20-foot drop through the air she landed on the ground and was dragged across the gravel, rocks scraping against her stomach. Along with multiple bruises, she was left with a torn liver and a severed pancreas. (talk about major ouch!)
Of the incident, she says: "I kept seeing rocks going past me and smacking me. Because the wing was partially inflated, it was my body rather than my head that was in contact with the rocks. I was dragged for what seemed like an eternity over the rocks, tearing my stomach in the process.”
Fortunately, Williams will be A-Okay.
And while her poor fortune alone is news worthy, what’s particularly interesting about all this is what her doctors said: her abs saved her life!
Because Williams exercises she has strong muscles. Those hard earned muscles actually protected her vital organs.
"More than one doctor has said that being so fit is what saved my life. I do 15 sit-ups and 30 bicycle sit-ups, or lateral crunches, every day - it's just a one-minute regime. I also run two or three times a week, and together that keeps me fit. The muscles acted like a girdle to protect me."
According to Dr. Lisa Callahan, medical director of the Women's Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, "whenever you hit a part of the body, the organs underneath are protected to some degree by the musculoskeletal system [muscles and bones]. The stronger those things are the more they're going to protect you."
So while you might not find yourself paragliding in Spain anytime soon, there’s always the probability that you might be in some sort of accident. The stronger and fitter you are, the better your chances of walking away – not only with less damage, but quite possible with your life.
Also, in general, fitter people have a lower heart rate. That means a lower risk of internal bleeding.
Fitter people’s bodies also process oxygen much faster and more efficiently. That means a shorter healing time.
So get fit – your life truly depends on it!
Flickr: flodrig; chad kelly